Pleadings in Debt Lawsuit

Pleadings are your formal statement of legal rights, in which:

  • A plaintiff brings a lawsuit against somebody and states a right to relief (“Complaint” or “Petition”);
  • Defendant admits or denies owing some or all of what the plaintiff claims (“Answer”);
  • Defendant claims the plaintiff violated defendant’s rights and defendant is entitled to relief (“Counterclaim”); and
  • Plaintiff admits or denies violating Defendant’s rights (“Answer to Counterclaim”).

We have materials on Complaints, Answers and Counterclaims – an answer to a counterclaim is just an answer by a different party. In the debt law context, counterclaims are sufficiently different from complaints to justify their own section.